It's been over three years since I started using my Synology DiskStation NAS to store every photo, video, and other file type I want to keep. In the time since, I've struggled a lot with Synology's web interface, especially its poor file manager experience that refreshes each time you make a simple change. To avoid that, I've been looking for solutions to mount the DiskStation's storage on my Pixelbook, but no tutorial or forum thread suggestion worked. Most were incomplete, others were outdated, some used unnecessary extensions, etc... After multiple trials and errors, and after mixing several recommendations from different users, I managed to get my NAS's shared folders on my Pixelbook, which has made file management a breeze. I'll share that method below.
To mount Synology, we'll use SMB file shares, which have been supported on Chrome OS since 2018. So we need to enable SMB file sharing on the NAS, set up shared folders, and then mount the SMB folders onto Chrome OS.
Step 1: Enable SMB3 on Synology
In your DiskStation's web interface, go to Control Panel then File Services. Click to Enable SMB service in the first tab.
Now click on Advanced Settings below the SMB section and change the Maximum SMB protcol to SMB3 then click Apply. You need that to ensure your Chromebook can mount shared folders.
Note: In the screenshot above, I set the minimum SMB protocol to SMB1. It works that way, but SMB1 is insecure. As far as I understand, that won't matter if you're only going to mount your Synology folders on Chrome OS, because the latter needs and uses SMB3. But if you want to make sure your shares are more secure (should you inadvertently connect an older SMB1 client in the future), you should set the minimum to SMB2. Everything else in this tutorial stays the same and works as expected. Thanks, Oliver!
Next, you need to verify that you have access to the NAS shared folder(s) you're trying to mount.
On your Synology, open the Control Panel, and go to Shared Folder. This is where the default shared folders (photo, music, video) and the user-created ones can be seen. In my case, I'm looking at my video folder.
Right click on that then click Edit and go to the Permissions tab. You can now see what privileges each user has for that folder. In my case, my rita user has Read/Write access to the video folder that I want to mount. If your user doesn't, make sure the Synology admin grants it that permission.
Another way to check which folders your user has access to is to go to the User section in Synology's Control Panel, choose your username, go to the Permissions tab, and see the list of folders you can access and with which permissions. That way, you know what you can mount.
Step 3: Find your Synology's local IP
Before we start adding these folders to Chrome OS, we have to get our Synology's local IP address. To do that, you can check your router's device admin page, copy the URL from the browser when you open the DiskStation's web interface, or simply go to find.synology.com. This page will look for any Synology on your network and give you its local IP address. It should be formatted as 10.0.0.xyz or 192.168.1.xyz.
Step 4: Time to mount on Chrome OS
Grab your Chromebook and open the Files application. Click the overflow (three-dot) button on the top right, then Add new service > SMB file share.
In the window that shows up, fill up this info:
- File share URL: your IP address from step 3 and your shared folder from step 2, formatted as \\IPaddress\sharedfolder — in my case, it's \\10.0.0.64\video
- Display name: pick the name you want to see in Chrome OS for this folder — I went for "video"
- Username: your Synology user name (unless the shared folder you picked is open to guests, but I don't recommend doing that)
- Password: your Synology user's password.
Now click Add and the folder will be mounted in the sidebar of the Files app on your Chromebook.
Repeat this for every folder you want to mount. Below, you can see I've added my photo, home, music, book, and video folders in Chrome OS. These mounts survive multiple reboots and can only be removed by right clicking then choosing Close.
In a mounted folder, you can browse files and sub-folders, open and rename files, download them to your computer, move them around, and more, as if you're browsing a local storage on your Chromebook. Chrome OS's regular keyboard shortcuts for renaming, cutting, pasting, creating folders, etc..., work as intended. You also don't need to wait for the Synology web client to refresh each time you move or rename a file or folder. That is painful if you manage a lot of files on your NAS.
Things only slow down when you want to move things from one mounted folder to another — Chrome OS doesn't seem to understand you're going through the same NAS, and handles it very slowly as if you're moving things between two different ones. You're better off making those moves through Synology's web interface.
Besides this small inconvenience, I'm currently managing all my mounted folders from Chrome OS instead of Synology's web client. It's much faster and more efficient.